Local organizations helping homeless, low-income populations escape heat in Charlotte

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - If you’ve been outside this week, you know it’s hot. And this record-breaking heat wave hits the most vulnerable people in our communities the hardest.

Several local organizations are pouring all of their resources into helping the low income and homeless people in Charlotte cope with this heat.

“As of right now, no one will hire me,” Charlottean Anna Katz said.

Katz has been out of a job since April and the utility bills are piling up.

She's one of many low income residents in Charlotte relying on the Crisis Assistance Ministry.

“Our doors open at 8 a.m. and typically there is a line outside the door before they open as people arrive wanting to make sure they can get help with their rent and utility bills,” Crisis Assistance Ministry Chief Marketing Officer Liana Humphrey said.

""When you get notices it’s a stress," Katz said.

She’s thankful for the ministry.

Right now they have extra funding from Mecklenburg County to help people like her.

“We’re able to assist people who are at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level,” Humphrey said.

For the homeless in Charlotte, the heat hits even harder.

That's where the Center of Hope through the Salvation Army steps in.

“We make every effort to be able to allow our folks, the families, the children, to be inside in the AC provide a lot of good hydration,” Salvation Army Area Commander Major Larry Broome said.

Most nights their 316 beds are full and they’re even bringing in cots for overflow.

The high demand this summer is pushing them to do more.

“Our is a women’s and children’s shelter," Broome said. "But we’ve just recently established private rooms for men and children.”

Both of these organizations are working with people in this heat so they can move forward.

“Right now I feel like a big weight has been lifted off my shoulders,” Katz said.

The Urban Ministry Center in Charlotte also offers shelter for the homeless.

Right now they are keeping water coolers outside at all times.

They’re also monitoring air quality levels to determine if they’ll need to offer anything outside of their normal operations.